Joneses, The (2010)

Drama Rated R

A missed opportunity from 2010 that could have been so timely and brilliant that it’s almost painful to watch. Cowriter and director Derrick Borte takes a zinger of a conceit – the perfect family moves into an upscale subdivision, only they’re actually hired product pushers engaged in stealth, real-world marketing – and what does he do with it? Turn it into a relationship drama. And so the romantic fate of the fake wife and husband (Demi Moore and David Duchovny, the latter of whom is aching to amp up the satire) becomes the driving force of the narrative. Along the way, the movie deflates as an allegory for all of the Americans who faked it in the 2000s by gobbling up televisions, houses and cars we couldn’t afford. The Joneses could have been the 21st century’s “Great Gatsby;” instead it’s a limp, dramatic “satire.